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The Lexus Tour was great! It was like a car show dedicated to one car. Free food and a free AutoX.

My friend and I went and ran the hot lap and I must say for an automagic, this thing can sure swing it's tail out. There was a lot of body roll, but the car is very very responsive. Recovering from oversteer is very easy.

The fake leather inserts are not as bad as what some people say. I actually like it. It kept you in the seat during hard turns. All the same I would prefer the standard cloth interior. The interior in general isn't bad either. I think it looks better than the wood grain in the audi. Of course that is just me.

The auto transmission is pretty good for an automatic. But tiptronic transmission is still definantly not for me. It will let you ride up to redline but it will still shift by itself. I can't wait for the 5spd to come out. Other than that it is a great car. But I don't know if I would pay the 30K price tag.

Next up was the learn and drive where we test out the Audi A4 2.8 Quatro, BMW 328i, along with the IS300.

The A4 was a big disappointment. I was expecting this car to be the best handiling of the three because of the AWD system. But the car plowed like a FWD car. No matter how hard I tried I could not get this car to rotate. Perhaps it was my lack of experience with AWD cars. But I was expecting this car to corner like the 2.5RS. Of course I knocked down a couple of cones and got a warning. heheh

Next up was the BMW 328i and the IS300. Ah Much better. It easily rounded the corners as opposed to the A4. It was very simillar in handling to the IS and with less body roll. The steering response felt sloppy though compared to the IS.

After the "learn and drive" sessions, it was back to the hot laps. This time we are passengers to professional drivers. I have to say this is probably the most fun I have ever had! Mike (the driver from S. America) was drifting around every corner of the track! I wish I had a video camera to capture it. It was like a segment from an options video.

My overall conclusion is: I WANT THIS CAR! But I'm not going to pay 30K for it. But if you look at the price range toyota/lexus is shooting for, it is a bargain. But for me it is too expensive. Perhaps I would get it used 5 spd manual and use the money I save for a turbo.

my biased pros and cons

great power
very good steering response
adequate handling
nice guages

price (this biased towards my price range)
semi-automatic transmission is still fully automatic transmission to me.

#94STS -- Houston Region SCCA
'94 Civic SI
'92 Civic SI (parts car)
'84 BMW 325e
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